Monday, November 8, 2010

A Life Near The Sea

Howard and Haroldene live near the sea, in a perfectly charming blue house with blue walls, and even a blue hard wood floor.  Surrounded by rose bushes and knick-knacks and walls lined with books and photo albums, you can't help but feel the history and stories that make up their beautiful life together.

 Their faithful companion, Rosie, scurries about under foot and excitedly greets us with heavy panting and rough doggy kisses.  

My girls are in heaven.....and so am I.  

It is our first time meeting this part of our family.  Tyler has told us of their wit and together they make the perfect couple.....the perfect grandparents.  The type who dote on you and make you feel like the most lovable creature in all the world.  Being there in their presence only proved him right.

Emilee collapses in slumber on a nearby chair, completely worn out from our travels and adventures, as the rest of us enjoy a slide show.  You know, with the slide projector and one of those old white screens.  It is absolutely perfect!  Each slide that flashes by paints the picture of grandma's dream.   

To live in a look out tower on a mountain top.  

As the story goes, she took a job in her fifties, for the forest service at a forest fire look out.  She and her dog Maggie lived on the mountain every summer for ten years, and grandpa would visit on the weekends.  Grandma was good at her job, and living a dream made everything magic.  A tiny cabin perched on a cliff, equipped with wood burning stove, the perfect mountain view and dotted with vases full of wild flowers.  It was her home....and she made it her own.  Everything was more beautiful because she had been there.

I smiled, listening to them talk over each other, hastily trying to include every detail, then grandpa would apologize for interrupting and both would sit in silence for a moment waiting for the other to finish the story. They were so proud of their life together and the things they accomplished were important to us, because they were important to them.
Their stories made me cherish my own.  It made me realize that my life is the story I will someday tell my grandchildren and great grandchildren.  

Grandma's health has been failing in the last few years, and as a result Grandpa has taken over all of the household duties.  Watching him take care of his sweetheart was so touching.  It was evident that their years together had forged a love for her in his heart that was real and deep and long suffering.  On the first night we were there I came into the kitchen to dish some dinner up for Tyler.  Grandpa quickly thanked me for "taking care of my guy", reminding me that when we love someone we must serve them.  His example taught me this more than anything he could ever say.

As we backed out of their drive way on a Friday afternoon, the image of them sending us on our way, filled me up completely.  I knew I had been given something valuable.  I had been tutored in love and encouraged by a wisdom greater than my own.  I think I saw more clearly the value of family and how we are all in this together!

Grandma and Grandpa,
I loved sharing a small part of your life near the sea!  Everything about our visit inspired love and restored the magic of adventure in me!  You showed me what it means to be generous and inspired me to take care of everyone and everything around me.  Thank you for all of the gifts you give.

I'll love you forever and ever.



  1. Michelle--this is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your innermost thoughts and feelings! I love you!

  2. Oh, I love Grandma and Grandpa--they are the best! I'm so glad you were able to meet them!

  3. Thanks for posting this Michelle! Grandma and Grandpa really are special. They have always made me feel so loved, even when Beth and I visited them during our MOST awkward stage in life! :) I'm glad you got to meet them and see the beautiful Oregon coast! We should all move up there!!